These warmer days and cold, cold nights can only mean one thing – it’s sugaring time!
You may remember that maple tapping was on my list of things to accomplish this year, and wonder of wonders, I’m actually doing it! We had a fabulous sunny day on Monday, a perfect day for tapping trees. My brother came on by with some spouts and a new drill bit, and we set to work. Within moments, we had a steady drip-drip-dripping of maple sap into our buckets! What a thrill!
There are only two suitable maple trees here on our little farm, and between them we were able to hang six buckets. Well, who would have thought that six buckets could fill up with sap so quickly! There are buckets full of sap in the fridge and buckets full of sap hanging from the trees. It’s such a glorious thing to see those spouts dripping away out there as the sun warms up the morning.
Yesterday, my brother and I spent the day out in the yard boiling down sap over the fire. With maple sap, you have about a 40:1 ratio – it takes 40 parts of sap to get 1 part of syrup. Well, wouldn’t you know, after about six hours of fire-tending, sawing wood, stirring the pot, and adding in more & more sap, we were able to fill about half of a quart-sized Mason jar with syrup.
PHEW! What a lot of work for a little bit of syrup! We are currently experimenting with other methods of boiling down the sap in hopes of finding a quicker way. The thing is, we were so tickled and pleased by the sap dripping from the trees, we decided to tap the trees at my folks’ place as well. There’s more sap than we know what to do with!
Perhaps my favourite part of this whole experience was my first drink of maple sap. It is crystal clear like water, but so crisp and cool and refreshing, rejuvenating, delicious and energizing, like nothing I have ever had before. When it hit my mouth for the first time, I was totally overjoyed. How could I have gone through all these years of my life without drinking maple sap!? Wow, it is simply amazing. My kids have been gulping it down and asking for more. Mmmmmmm……
First thing in the morning we’ll be heading back out to the fire pit to get started on another day of syruping!